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Old 10-18-2012, 12:35 PM   #1
troydjames
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Trip report Sept 30 thru Oct. 7th

Had a great trip with family of 5, kids are 10, 6 and 4 first trip with kids to Universal/ Disney
We drove from southern Kentucky about 11 hours, spent first night a red roof inn, next day went straight to Downtown Disney a little shopping, lunch at T-rex, food was good. Spent that night at AOA, Cars suite at to decide if we would like for future trips, great resort especially for a larger family, My oldest daughter and I went to the Mickey's not so scary party, had a blast did not do any candy lines, they were all long we were there for the rides! Fireworks and parade were great,my other 2 kids do not like fireworks so they stayed and explored all the wings of the resort and swam, also had a great time.
Next morning jumped on bus to Epcot to take monorail to Ohana's for character breakfast, This is my wife's favorite meal in Orlando, loves the juice, I enjoy the food also and kids loved the conga line and characters. After breakfast went to Royal Pacific Resort and checked in, had our FOTL passes made at kiosk and went up to the room and unpacked, it was around 2 so the kids went to the pool while I went to purchase their 4 day tickets, I have an annual pass from a trip last June with my wife and had renewed it for $170.00 to get the discounts on other park tickets, food and souvenirs, it saved me $100 on tickets for the rest of the family alone. Went to Jimmy Buffets for dinner great fun and good food as always, it is my favorite at city walk, off to swim a little more then sleep had to get up early after all for Harry Potter.
More to come .
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Saratoga Springs 2008:

Hard Rock Hotel 2011

Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

Hard Rock Hotel 2013
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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sounds like you had a fun vacation!
are you planning a repeat in the future?


i do both parks also.
motherland and darkside each trip.

the best of both!
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
troydjames
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I think we will be back every year on fall break, maybe you can help me I have been trying to load pictures for the rest of the trip report but can not figure out how do you have any suggestions?
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Saratoga Springs 2008:

Hard Rock Hotel 2011

Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

Hard Rock Hotel 2013
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
troydjames
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Day 2

Got up early and at gate for 8:00 am early admission, went straight to Ollivanders, and to my surprise my oldest daughter was picked, her sister thought it was great when she wilted the flowers with her first wand, it was great fun, I did not realize that you had to pay for the wand if you were picked, in my opinion this is one of those places that Universal could help convert some Disney lovers and the magic moments you always hear about by giving a $30 wand away, I know they run the show every 10 minutes but if most family's are like mine I had to purchase 3 wands so the other 2 kids would not feel slighted, took my oldest to ride FJ and used child swap, which worked great, and she loved it , from there flight of the Hippogriff which all kids loved, Frozen Butter beer was a favorite of my 4 year old son, not a good sign for things to come, made a point to go into bathrooms to hear moaning Myrtle, was cute, have been there twice before and never been in the bathroom, had to purchase some chocolate frogs and had them sent to front of the park to pickup later that day as well as our wands.
Made our way back to Suess Landing where we spent most of our time when in IOA, kids love every ride especially the cat in the hat ride, met all the characters, they had a cute little show and a meet and greet afterwords, it seems to me that Universal is really making an attempt to make the character interaction much better than past years, they seemed to be everywhere all the time, more on this later when we go to Universal park the next day.
I could not wait any longer I had to get to the BEST RIDE EVER SPIDERMAN! could not wait to take my daughter on it, but first went back to the front of the park and purchased the photoconnect plan for $43 dollars, in my opinion worth every penny, you may get tired of posing for pictures but it works great, Went toward Marvel island and saw the Hero parade on the bikes and had picture made with spiderman directly across from the ride, my first chance to try my photo card, had the picture made, the staff member added the webs on the computer and then tried to sell me the picture for $25 dollars, handed them my card and they loaded it on there and off I went to ride. Spiderman looks great with new video, seems a little more jerky than I remember from last year but I may just be getting to old, used child swap and FOTL access again worked great, let me just say staying on site is the only way to go to universal as far as I am concerned, this feature has spoiled me to the point that I feel like I am wasting valuable time when I go to Disney, even with so called fast pass, Much to my surprise my daughter liked the Hulk and FJ more than spiderman but still enjoyed very much. Had some lunch at the restaurant across from Hulk I think Cafe 4SM typical theme park food, had meatball sub I split with wife and a couple of spaghetti dinners $40 dollars we had purchased one of the refillable drink cups earlier and used it all week great deal cost $8 and refilled for 95 cents as often as you like.
Walked thru Toon lagoon, talked to popeye, my kids had know idea who he was, and rode the Jurassic river ride, they also have a kiosk there you can swipe you photo card and it will take your picture in front of a Jeep, had our ride picture put on our card at the gift shop and walked on around to Discovery center, which my 2 oldest loved, while the youngest took a nap in the stroller. Made our way back to Seuss Landing after riding Flight of Hippogriff a couple more times no wait with FOTL again, spent a couple of more hours at Suess and went back to resort for swimming. After a couple of hours at the pool we decided to eat there to keep from getting ready and going somewhere, we used the bar restaurant at RPR very handy but a little expensive we had 2 grilled cheese, I had a grilled chicken sandwich and my wife had a cheese and fruit plate and a couple of soft drinks, it was all good, handy to sit there and eat and watch the kids swim, cost $63 and a $10 dollar tipped added on automatically, which I don't mind if service is good and it was, the night before I spent $60 including tip at Jimmy buffetts and we had 5 meals, 3 kids meals and our meals and it was less money, we swam till about 9:00 and went to bed,we have another big day ahead at Universal studios.
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Saratoga Springs 2008:

Hard Rock Hotel 2011

Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

Hard Rock Hotel 2013

Last edited by troydjames; 10-26-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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i think you posted you bought wands also for the 4 and 6 y/o?
you listed in the beginning the kids were 10, 6, 4 but wrote 5 y/o later, so i'm a tad confused. maybe i need to reread.

from what i have seen and read from others, the wands are not a toy and can break if dropped.

guard those wands!!


UO and Disney are similar in not giving away costly items.
I don't expect that wands will ever be free at the ollivanders show.

i'm sure that caught you by suprise that day.


nice reading more about your trip.

i'm not one to post many pictures on the dis.
hopefully, another homie will be able to explain the process to you.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Day 3

Up and off to Universal studio, stopped at bridge and had cast member take our picture in front of the Universal ball, if you keep the tickets they give you after a picture, you just go into the photo building at the front of each park and they will put them on your photopass card, had our picture made again as soon as we went in the park, had to get to Despicable Me, very cute, themed great, my 2 youngest did not like to moving seats but seemed to cheer up when they saw the minion and had their picture made, since they did not like the moving seats me and my oldest went to shrek and enjoyed it also, while we were doing that the other kids had picture made with shrek and scooby.
We walked toward the Hollywood section and ran into Woody woodpecker, he walked up behind us and started to push the stroller my son was in, it was so cute he had no idea until his mother started walking beside him, I of course was taking pictures of this and the look on his face when he turned around was priceless. I have a bunch of pictures but can not find an easy way to load them on here any suggestions would be appreciated. When we got to Mel's Drive inn a Spongebob float came out of the lot and stopped in front of Mel's, and the dance party started, my kids absolutely loved these floats and characters, they danced for about 10 minutes and then posed for pictures, a cast member said this would go on all day every 30 minutes, so we waited and just like she said every 30 minutes they came out, next Despicable Me, then Dora and deigo and the last was characters from Hop, this was great, to me it meant we did not have to catch the parade that afternoon.
We made our way around toward woody woodpecker area and watched the animal actor show, the kids loved it, rode ET, they were not impressed and I think it is a little dated, as well as T3 which we did not do this year, we knew the kids would not know was going on, and once again the 2 youngest do not like loud noises, The kids all loved the woody woodpecker roller coaster.
Next we went toward the Simpsons which I rode with my oldest but it makes me about half sick so I had my eyes closed most of the time, Did MIB and had our ride picture added to our card, once again child swap and FOTL no wait at MIB but it always seems Simpson is 45 minutes no matter what. Made our way around construction wall city missing Jaws had to let wife ride Mummy along with me oldest, wife loves it Daughter not so much, great ride picture with her eyes closed and hanging on for dear life. I took kids back toward Mel's to eat while wife rode Rip ride rocket, I liked it last year but hurts my back so she rides solo. Had lunch at Mel's, usual burgers fries and our 95 cent coke refill by this time we had purchased 2 so me and my daughter could have Diet while the other family members had regular coke. While we were finishing up all the floats starting coming out so we had to dance and take more pictures, after all floats were through we made our way all the way around again and rode everything again, on the way out late that afternoon I stopped and loaded all pictures on my card again.
We decided to eat at Hard rock Cafe probably the worst meal I had on the trip for the price, everyone else enjoyed there dinner I had ribs and chicken that were both very dry, and I have never met ribs I did not like so my wife knew something was up when I only had a couple of them. The cost was about $100 but 20 of that was a picture of all of us when we entered.
Back to the pool for the kids, still their favorite activity then off to bed, we would open the next morning with a character breakfast at Universal.
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Saratoga Springs 2008:

Hard Rock Hotel 2011

Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

Hard Rock Hotel 2013
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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Day 4

Up for the character breakfast at Universal, pictures made again same as the day before, made our way around to Cafe La Bamba, checked in and was seated right away, a lot of fun, very loud, food was ok, I received a good deal on this meal it was 25% off for annual pass holders on Thursday and Fridays, kids really enjoyed it, the characters would come in after doing the dance party, so every 30 minutes new characters would come in and work their way around the room, they made sure you got all the pictures and food you wanted, cost was $63 in comparison to Ohana's $100, which also included a family picture, for me the food at Ohana's is worth the extra money, not to mention getting to ride the monorail to get there.
After breakfast Gracie, my oldest and I walked over for the Blues brothers show, while the rest of the family went to woody woodpecker coaster, I was trying to explain it to Gracie, being to young to see the movie, about the car with the big horn on top and how they would pull up and get out, and of course the just walked around the corner not being able to drive with all the construction, but as usual the show was worth the walk We both loved it, we went back toward Mel's diner when it was over in time to catch the Horror Makeup show which we both enjoyed a great deal, I told her about the ending so it would not scare her when the "robotic" monster started to chase the guys around the stage.
We spent the rest of the day in the park and left late that afternoon and ate at the Burger King and Chinese area at the top of city walk. When we were walking back thru the pool area at the resort the fire dancer and hula dancer were there giving hula lessons and a fire show with a musician playing the drums it was nice and the kids learned to hulu and swam until bed time again.
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Hard Rock Hotel 2011

Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

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Old 10-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Last day in park

Early entry for FJ, skipped the wand show and started riding, same as the first day after FJ and Hippogriff, we had reservations for Mythos for lunch so we stayed on that side of the park all morning, at Suess Landing, and had a great time watching Gracie talk to and getting sprayed by the Mystic fountain, every time we walked by there he would yell Hi Gracie, this went on all day she felt like she made a real friend, Mythos was ok maybe a little better than the standard food at a theme park but not a must do in my opinion, I had a burger, kids had grilled cheese and Alfredo and wife had a steak sandwich, around $60 we also had the banana caramel cake it was ok also.
We spent the rest of the day working around the park doing all we could, knowing it was our last day in the park, late that afternoon the storm clouds caught us for the first time, we had been out of the park everyday before the rain started but not today, we were trapped at Circus McGurkus, kids were hungry and it was flooding so we decided to eat there while we waited, spent almost as much as I did at mythos and not as good, I would suggest, if you are on that side of the park and need to eat, and have time, go to mythos, it seemed like I was spending 50-60$ every meal no matter where we ate and it is the lesser of 2 evils.
Rain never slowed, so we put on the ponchos and took off, walked back to the resort, the boats do not run if electrical storms are within 5 miles, the walk is only 5-8 minutes from Jimmy Buffets to the RPR resort. Of course by the time we got to the resort rain had stopped and off to the pool until bedtime.
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Hard Rock Hotel 2011

Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

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Old 10-26-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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Last day at Orlando

We decided the last day was for swimming and exploring, the kids swam till about 2, left their swim suits on to go look at the other resorts to pick one out for next year. When my wife and I were there the year before it was our second trip, staying at the Hard Rock both times we love that resort and the music, we had never spent anytime at the pool except to walk through there on the way to the park, so on our last day we went to the other 2 resorts for the first time and felt like the kids would like the pool, water canons and splash area, the quiet of RPR, so that is where we booked our first family trip. We hopped on the boat and went to PBR and straight to the pool, Gracie of course headed right to the slide while the other 2 found the splash area and playground, after a while we walked over and got some ice cream and sat down to discuss what they thought, it was unanimous they like it better than RPR
We then walked to HRH and right to the pool, again Gracie, to the slide, band playing, me and the wife loving the vibe, figuring our youngest kids who hate loud noises would be ready to run out, I looked up and they were both in the pool dancing if front of the band! after a while we walked them through the lobby and out to the boat to go eat, it was unanimous again they LOVED Hard rock, so we decided that is where we will be next year, had dinner at Jimmy Buffets one last time always good, and had a little dance party down by the boat docks on Friday's and Saturday's, line dancing hula hoop contest a lot of fun for kids, back to swim one last time and back to Kentucky
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Art of Animation 2012

Royal Pacific Resort 2012

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:03 PM   #10
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hope you used your ap for the discounts (food and merch) in the park and city walk.
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